The deputy couldnt help noticing the fellow scooching down the courtroom bench.
The guy, fresh out of jail Monday, had just been sentenced to probation for giving authorities a false name and was waiting for another hearing to end, so he could catch a ride with his bail bondsman.
He was sitting at one end of the bench, and hed scoot a little ways and sit there for a minute. Then hed scoot down a little more, Jones County sheriffs Deputy John Simmons said. It didnt seem normal. I didnt know what he was doing.
Simmons said the man, Jeffrey Kelly, of Macon, then slid his hand over, grabbed something and walked out in a hurry. I knew something was up.
Simmons then saw another man walk into the county courtroom and sit down in the spot Kelly had just left. The man began looking around as if hed lost something.
Then the man stepped out of the courtroom and told Simmons he couldnt find his iPhone.
Well, I know whos got it, the deputy said.
Outside, Simmons found Kelly, 28, and asked him if hed seen a phone.
Simmons said at first Kelly told him he hadnt, but later Kelly claimed hed given the phone to a woman.
The deputy wasnt buying it.
The phone turned up perched atop a tire, hidden in the wheel well of Kellys bondsmans car.
Kelly was arrested for theft and jailed.
He kept saying that the phone was just sitting there, that it didnt belong to nobody, Simmons said.
Now his probations been revoked. ... He was not happy.
To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.